I have tested many a Bluetooth peripheral here – headsets, handsfree units, car Speakerphones, Stereo headphones and more. Some have fully taken advantage of the latest in Bluetooth Technology and others have just fallen flat.
Last year, I was very pleasantly surprised by the the BlueAnt Wireless Supertooth II Handsfree Speakerphone. It was so far ahead of others that I had tested that it eventually earned the coveted place of honor as the best of the best in my wife’s car – where it stayed until last week.
There is a new champion in town and it is lighter, sleeker and….get this…..less expensive and it is the BlueAnt Supertooth Light.
Read on for my thoughts and the full review. About BlueAnt: (From their Web Site)
BlueAnt Wireless is a market leader in the Australian Bluetooth industry, BlueAnt Wireless provides the ultimate in Bluetooth communication and audio streaming solutions. BlueAnt is the Bluetooth brand which an increasing number of dealers are adding to their range. They recognize that They need to be different. They recognize that They need to be more than just another Bluetooth brand.
All brands speak of quality but do other brands support all of their products with a 2 year full replacement hardware warranty? BlueAnt does.
Who offers a 72 hour turnaround on any query or warranty concern? They do.
The official line on the Supertooth Light is also found on their site:
Supertooth Light Bluetooth Handsfree Speakerphone
Powerful, Stylish and Crystal Clear
Stylish in design, easy to use and with no installation requirements, the new BlueAnt Supertooth Light offers the latest in sun-visor mounted handsfree speakerphone technology.
Currently, the most powerful speakerphone on the market today, the BlueAnt Supertooth Light incorporates the very latest technology from Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) Its outstanding audio quality is achieved via the integration of the cutting edge Clear Voice Capture (CVC) Digital Signal Processor (DSP) technology, providing truly superior sound.
The BlueAnt Supertooth Light uses real-time audio to process any echo or background noise resulting in the improvement of the sound quality of the user’s voice regardless of whether the car is stationery or travelling at high speed. It also adjusts sound levels to compensate for loud engine noise or external noise created when the windows are wound down.
Easily mounted on the car’s sun-visor, the BlueAnt Supertooth Light can be paired with up to five devices, supports voice dial activation, redial and call reject and also has a retractable sliding microphone.
Digital Sound Processor (DSP) for noise and echo cancellation > Fully portable, sleek design with zero installation costs > Full duplex and high performance speaker > Mounts on a sun-visor using a two sided magnetic clip > Easily switch sides when moving sun-visor up or down > Sliding microphone shaft retracts when not in use > Supports voice dial activation, redial and call reject > Supports multi-pairing to 5 devices > Rechargeable lithium-ion battery > Up to 15 hrs talk-time or 800 hrs / 33 days standby > A 2 year replacement warranty
SUPERTOOTH LIGHT Specifications
Bluetooth Compliance: Bluetooth version 1.2 specifications
Supported Bluetooth Profiles: Supports headset and handsfree profiles with automatic detection
Operating Range: Up to 30 feet (10 meters)
Frequency: 2.4 GHz
Talk Time: Up to 15 hours
Stand-by time: Up to 800 hours
Charging Time: 3 hours
Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium Ion
Special Features: > Full Duplex > Full DSP Noise Cancellation / Echo Cancellation using CVC > Digital Volume Control > Voice Recognition Dialing (If phone supports) > Last Call Redial > Reject Incoming Call > Can also be charged directly from a PC via USB Cable (not included) > Compact Size
Installation: Quick installation on sun visor via magnetic clip
Dimensions : 0.716′ x 2.37′ x 4.8′ (18.2 x 60.2 x 122 mm)
Weight: 4.06oz (115 g)
On to the review…..
The BlueAnt Supertooth Light is really a marvel of ‘simplicity in design.’ The unit is a little bigger than a deck of cards. On the main surface of the device there are simply ‘Green’ and ‘Red’ phone buttons and an attractive speaker with the BlueAnt logo. On the side facing the driver (when installed on a sun visor) there are very easy to use volume up and volume down buttons. On the far right hand side is an ingenious pop-out microphone. Along to far side are the requisite LED’s which indicate a bluetooth connection or alternate in color during the pairing process.
The underside had two very powerful magnets that attached to a clip that went on the sun visor and there was a mini-USB charging port on the side as well.
Overall, the design is simple, well though out and there are very few buttons for the driver to worry about.
Pairing/Ease of Use:
Like other BlueAnt products tested, the pairing process is quite simple. Just pop out the microphone for the first time and the unit automatically goes into ‘pairing mode.’ Enable your bluetooth equipped phone to search for the device, then enter the 0000 pairing code and you are done – that’s it.
I only needed to do this process once and each time my phone was in range, it connected automatically to the Supertooth light.
Calls were automatically routed from my BlackBerry Pearl right to the Supertooth Light each time I was in the car. I could either press the ‘red’ button on the unit to disconnect or disconnect from my phone.
Holding the ‘green’ button for 1 second activated Voice Command on my phone and I could voice dial quite easily.
A nice feature was the ‘Audio Transfer’ feature which was great if I was on a call and then parked the car and wanted to continue the conversation. Just push the microphone in (while on the call) and the unit shuts off and the call is immediately transferred back to the handset – ingenious.
The SuperTooth light can contain pairing information for up to five different phones which can make things quite interesting if more than one person in the car gets a call – but it is a nice feature, especially when there are multiple drivers of a car.
All the features in the world are terrific – but if your callers can’t hear you well or if they come in muffled on the speakerphone – the features don’t really matter that much.
Fortunately, that was a non-issue with the Supertooth light. BlueAnt’s web site attributes the remarkable sound quality to the integration of the cutting edge Clear Voice Capture (CVC) Digital Signal Processor (DSP) technology, providing truly superior sound. Well, whatever it is – they are right. This was simply the clearest and most powerful Bluetooth speakerphone I have tested and it costs half as much as some that don’t perform nearly as well!
Callers were loud and clear coming through the Speakerphone – so loud that I had to turn down the volume on several occasions. The DSP technology worked great as callers on the other end said they did not hear anything but my voice coming through – not the wind and not the radio. I found that I could speak at a much reduced volume and be heard very clearly.
Bang for the Buck:
The BlueAnt Supertooth Light is an amazing value. At $99.00 it is a fraction of the cost of many higher priced systems that can’t compete in sound quality. It may not have all the additional features and bells and whistles – but when you get down to it – it is call quality that is key in a device like this.
The Supertooth Light bested the Supertooth II which now sells for $129.00. It also bested speakerphones costing twice as much. It is easy to pair, easy to use, attractive and amazingly clear and powerful – what more could you want in a Bluetooth Speakerphone.